Embiid pours in 50 points to lead 76ers over Magic; Nets edge Wizards
Los Angeles—Philadelphia center Joel Embiid matched his career high with 50 points to lead the 76ers to a 123-110 NBA victory over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 (Thursday morning, January 20, 2022, Philippine time).
The Cameroonian big man, who was on the floor for just 26:05 minutes, connected on 17 of his 23 shots from the floor and 15 of 17 free throws.
He made eight of 10 shots in scoring 23 points in a third quarter that featured seven lead changes.
When Embiid drained a step-back three-pointer with 25 seconds left in the third, it put Philadelphia up 92-80 and took his points tally to 47 — two more than the rest of his teammates combined to that point.
His dominant effort helped the Sixers, trailing by 10 at halftime, out-score the Magic 47-23 in the third quarter and take a 94-80 lead into the fourth.
“I was feeling great,” Embiid, who also pulled down 12 rebounds and blocked three shots, told NBATV.
“Just playing my game, just dominating like I’ve been doing all season,” added the Most Valuable Player candidate who came into the contest averaging 27.3 points per game.
“Whether it was in the post or on the perimeter, just doing my thing. And then obviously my teammates and my coaches put me in the right position to succeed.”
Embiid played less than a minute in the fourth quarter, scoring three points — all on free throws — to take his tally to 50 then remaining on the bench as the Sixers led all of the final frame.
He joined Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain and Allen Iverson as the only 76ers with multiple 50-point games.
Mo Bamba set a career-high with 32 points, 28 of them in the first half when he made all seven of his three-pointers. He fouled out in the fourth quarter.
– Nets hold off Wizards –
In Washington, the Brooklyn Nets thwarted a late Wizards rally to escape with a 119-118 victory, their first since star Kevin Durant was sidelined by a knee sprain on Saturday.
Kyrie Irving led Brooklyn with 30 points, his highest total since rejoining the team despite declining to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Irving can only play away games, since New York’s vaccine mandate won’t allow him to play in the Nets’ Barclays Center arena.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points off the bench, while James Harden added 18 points, eight rebounds and nine assists.
The Wizards trailed by 16 points in the third quarter, but Kyle Kuzma’s three-pointer with 36.6sec remaining cut the deficit to one.
Irving then missed a three-pointer and Harden had a shot blocked. With one last possession, the Wizards couldn’t get it done, as Kuzma and Spencer Dinwiddie both missed three-point attempts.
The Nets remained in third place in the East behind Chicago and Miami.
The Bulls snapped a four-game skid with a 117-104 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Heat beat the Portland Trail Blazers 104-92 in Miami.
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